Thursday, July 23, 2009

At the Teenage Corner

White socked boys

in rolled up jeans

slick their hair and

sway and preen

while teasing,

petticoated girls

swing their skirts

and twirl their curls

in time

with the music

at the Teenage Corner.

We belly crawl

the littered path

clap hands on mouths,

try not to laugh,

beneath the porch

we quietly crouch

to watch them court,

making time

with the music

at the Teenage Corner.

Danger circles up above

flipping dimes and

keeping time,

brushing multicolored skirts

against bare legs

that tease and flirt

as they roll

with the beat

of the music

at the Teenage Corner.

We hold our breaths,

and cover our faces,

fearing and longing

for the days when

we will own

the summer nights

and the magic jukebox lights

and the dreams

of Memphis kings

and the mystery

and the music

of the Teenage Corner.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kitty's Gone.

I said those words aloud just now

To the open air. Robin didn’t answer;

He didn’t seem to care.

"Oh, ho!" I thought, "Your little brain

Has soon forgotten how he came

And flushed you from your evening nest

And ran you crazy like the rest

Of the birds he used to rule."

He’s in the ground, and like a fool,

I sit alone and think on how

I said those words aloud just now.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

In Truth

This poem was written as I fooled around with ideas for Jason's Clarity of Night "In Vino Veritas" contest. In the end, I entered, using the beginning lines of this as the germ of the idea. If you have a thirst for flash fiction, check out Jason's contest. I'm number 64.

In truth, there is no fiction.

This hand is tan?

It’s green, say I, or other hue,

As real for me as tan for you.

What of the man who has no eyes?

Does color not exist, or does he see

Reality but with a different twist?

In truth, there is no contest.

If no contestants try

To win the prize in others’ eyes,

Then what is second best?

In truth, there is no beauty,

Though poor John Keats has said,

But truth denies where beauty lies

And Keats, alas, is dead.

In truth, there is no reason

Nor rhyme behind this verse

Beyond the thought that this was wrought

Because a lie is worse.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer Night

Taken by an evening chill,

I leave my sun-soaked seat,

Forsaking hummingbirds

That trouble trumpet vines

And bumblebees that startle

At their sudden rise and fall.

Conceding feeders to

The scrabbling squirrels

And serviceberries to

The reign of mockingbirds,

I force my trembling self

To pause as life,

Unshaken by the coming

Of the night,

Grows dark against

The purple evening sky.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

dancing to the clack

photo from One Photo a Day

Take a bit of creosote,

soak a wooden tie,

press snug on a gravel bed

and spike it in the ground.

Do this and do this

‘til all you can see

as far as you look

looks like piano keys,

moving to a pencil point

far down the line.

Now you are ready to

lay a penny down,

or even better yet,

to dance to the sound,

heel first, toe next,

heel now again,

arms spread out,

ready to fly

west to Kentucky

Indiana Illinois,

where you can see forever,

not just around the bend,

where the sun comes up

right out of the land,

where the sun goes down

in the field behind,

where you can hear the whistle

long before you see,

long before you think it’s time

to think of heading back,

long before you run along,

pacing with the clack,

arms pumping

knees rising

cheeks blowing

chuff chuffing,

long before you hook your arm

on that rusty rail,

long before you swing on up,

grinning from the feel

of the run and the journey

and the warm metal bar

crooked in your arm

as you watch from the car

the smooth, flat land that

rolls beneath the wheels.

Just a bit of creosote,

soaked into a tie

pressed snug on a gravel bed,

spiked into the ground,

just one penny flat,

or even better yet,

just one kid dreaming

of dancing to the clack.